The Pennsylvania State University

About the program

In conjunction with Earth Week, all Penn State residential campuses host a Swipe Out Hunger drive. During that week, students who have excess dining dollars leftover on their meal plans can donate $5, $10, or $15 of their campus meal plan to the Student Emergency Fund (SEF). stewarded by Penn State’s Student Care & Advocacy Office, any time they dine on campus.

The SEF is intended to provide short-term financial assistance for students experiencing crisis situations. Students at any Penn State campus facing food insecurity can request assistance from the SEF by submitting a short online application. Once a student applies, they get to meet with one of Penn State’s Office of Student Care & Advocacy case managers to assess their need level & determine eligibility for aid from the SEF. Regardless of whether the student receives aid from the SEF, their case manager reviews all other campus and community resources relevant to the student’s needs to hopefully prevent avoidable patterns of insecurity.

Are you a student experiencing food insecurity on campus? Reach out the Student Care & Advocacy Office or learn more about the Penn State’s Lion’s Pantry, which serves the University Park campus.


  • Spencer Wallace, Lion's Pantry Former President
  • Alyssa Malerman, President & Campus Hunger Project Cohort co-leader
  • Leah Bodinger, Vice President & Campus Hunger Project Cohort co-leader
  • Lydia Carey, Student Sustainability Coordinator, Residential Dining
  • Sarah Hohman, Lion's Pantry Communications Director
  • William Li, Lion's Pantry Director

Year Founded


Program Roots

Penn State piloted their own swipe drive a few years ago, calling it “Turn the Tables on Hunger.” Although it raised $3,000 with minimal marketing, it lacked student involvement and engagement from all campuses. Fortunately, the following year, student leaders from Penn State’s Lion’s Pantry and Penn State’s Challah for Hunger independently heard about the Swipe Out Hunger national organization and initiated contact with Student Care & Advocacy and Residential Dining for help implementing a swipe drive at Penn State. A team of students and staff assembled with the help of a Swipe Out Hunger representative and started planning what would eventually be a swipe drive during Earth Week, raising over $29,000.

Get involved

Reach out to Student Care & Advocacy or any founding leader to get involved.


  • The Lion’s Pantry is located past East Halls and the Katz Law Building, in between Lion’s Surplus and the Blue Band Building.

    Cub Pantries are located in the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center and the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity and are open during campus building open hours! 

    Abba Java is located in downtown State College, at 299 Locust Lane.

  • The hours change each semester and most up to date hours can be found here